When most people think of training they think of basketball or football players, marathon runners or even dogs! But did you know that part of learning to eat healthier has to do with training your palate? When your taste buds are used to eating foods high in fat, sugar and other unhealthy flavors, it’s no question that your old habits and your taste buds keep sabotaging your good intentions. 

There are a few different ways to retrain your taste buds. One of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to do this is to try new foods. So, this week your challenge is to expand your palate and try something new! 

Research shows pairing foods with familiar flavors repeatedly can increase your preference for those foods. So when you’re giving this challenge a go, you don’t have to replace all of the foods on your plate - just add one, or substitute for your usual go-to. If you’re truly committed to changing your palate, you have to be unafraid of trying exotic foods. Plenty of foods at first glance will seem unappealing -- Smelly cheeses, new meats, or juice made with broccoli -- but you have to force yourself to try something when you have the chance. After all, don’t knock it til you try it!

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips on how you can pick out something new next time you’re at the grocery store: 

Love Is An Open Door

Think of something you *love* to eat. Are you an avid fruit eater? Voracious for veggies? Start there. Think of the food you love and what category it fits in to. Now, take a look around the grocery store and pick out something, in the same category, that you’ve never tried before. Love watermelon? Give Dragon Fruit, Jackfruit, or Kiwano (horned melon) a try! Love Broccoli? Check out Jicama, Romanesco, or Rutabagas! 

Come Together 

It’s always easier to try something new when someone you know is willing to do it with you. So recruit someone you know to get in on the adventure with you! Whether you decide to go out to a new restaurant and try something, or just peruse the aisles at the grocery store and cook up something - even if you don’t like the result, it’ll be good for a laugh later! 

Spice It Up 

If you don’t have access to an international market, and your grocery store doesn’t carry any exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat, you can always choose to experiment with spices! Spices can make a world of difference when it comes to cooking - and there are so many good ones being overlooked! Here are just a few uncommonly used spices: 

  • Sumac

  • Lemongrass

  • Coriander Seeds

  • Tamarind 

  • Star Anise

  • Fenugreek 

  • Saffron

As you begin to expand your food horizons and cut out highly processed foods, your taste buds will begin recognizing flavors you may not have picked up on before, such as the umami of mushrooms or bitterness of dark chocolate. And soon, you’ll notice a difference in the foods you crave and love.

Prize Details

In addition to learning new healthy lifestyle skills, by completing this Weekly Challenge you’ll also receive 1,000 FITera points! Be sure to blog about this challenge and keep us updated on your progress. At the end of each week, please email us at support@fitera.com with how you did on the challenge, as well as your FITera username.

Rules & Regulations

Keep us updated on how you’re doing with the weekly challenge by posting blogs on FITera with your progress, questions, or any tips, obstacles, or experiences you’d like to share. There is no minimum number of blogs required, but the more you post, the more support, encouragement, and accountability you’ll receive from others.

Just as you’ll receive support from others, please offer the same kind of feedback and encouragement to your peers. As you’ll soon discover, the more you give, the more you’ll receive.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Every Monday we'll announce the details of the upcoming week's challenge. Each challenge goes from Monday to Sunday.

COMPLETING YOUR CHALLENGE: At the end of each week (Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday morning), please post a blog on how you did with your challenge for the week, such as what you learned, obstacles you overcame, and your plans for continuing this new healthy habit long-term.